Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Is it OK To Ask My Employer For a Loan?

If you find yourself in a difficult financial situation, you may find that asking your employer for an advance or loan could be a last resort.

The most obvious thing to do is apply for a loan or ask a close member of the family or friend for money, but due to finances being a sensitive nature, some people feel more comfortable even asking their boss or employer rather than those closer to them.

There are also a number of lenders that contact your employer prior to approval - and it might be easier just to go straight to the employer as a result.

In many respects, it is not illegal to ask your employer for a loan or for financial help. In fact, some of the largest employers in the UK such as Tesco and M&S have a drawdown facility which allows employees (typically those on minimum wage) to get access to any wages in real-time, even if it is not their official payday. This is also known as salary sacrifice arrangements

Similarly, some large organisations provide an option to apply for financial help which you might be eligible for based on personal circumstances such as bereavement, loss, children are sick, extenuating circumstances. Other employers offer financial literacy courses and training to help people manage their finances.

Depends On The Employer

Some employers may have a more open door policy and be more open to requests about advances and financial help. If there is an HR team, speaking to a member of the team might be more personal and private rather than potentially losing face in front of your big bad boss.

In a family business setting or environment, they may be more receptive to your financial position and how you may need assistance for the better of your family.

Depends On Your Relationship With Your Boss

If you have a very good and open relationship with your boss, asking for a loan could be successful. Certainly if you are a valued member of the company, have served for many years and have proven your contribution, asking for financial help should not be a burden, especially if the company is doing well.

If you have a cold or distant relationship with your boss, this may be a lot tougher and going through a formal policy or HR could be recommended.

Consider Long Term Outcomes

Personal finances can certainly be a sensitive issue and mixing it with work may not be healthy. Going down the employer route for a loan could be manageable if this is a one off financial position and you can quickly repay this loan to your employer or it can come out of your wages. However, if this might be something ongoing or will not get you out of your bind, having this burden on your shoulders day-to-day when you are at work and dealing with your boss could be a very negative path to go down. 

Be sure to have a good think about the loan term consequences and it could be worth putting together a longer term plan or speaking to a professional about your debt and the best steps forward.

What Other Alternatives Are There?

Beyond asking your family, friends or employer for money, there are some places that are more effective when you need money and are not subject to credit approval. This includes using credit unions that offer very low cost loans for those working in the local area or community. With no penalty fees and very low APRs, the only main downside is that the funding time is around a week.

Other low cost options that have good approval rates include using 0% credit cards, using your car as collateral for a loan (logbook loan) or using a guarantor to co-sign your loan. Be sure to check all the terms and conditions of these loans and products before proceeding.